previews\ Sep 13, 2007 at 8:00 pm

Tony Hawk's Proving Ground - PS3 - Preview 3

While last year’s Project 8 left a bit to be desired, the upcoming game from the house that the Birdman build is seriously upping the ante in terms of gameplay features, offering some great new moves and an RPG-like class mode that lets you play the game in three completely different ways. At a recent press event held by Activision, the publisher showed off the latest build of the game, complete with a look at the class system and Nail-A-Grab and Nail-A-Manual moves, as well as a look at the new video editor. With hot competition coming from EA’s recently released skate., the team at Neversoft is certainly not resting on their laurels, offering up as complete a skateboarding experience as ever.

Tony Hawk's Proving Ground Xbox 360 screenshots

Last year’s best addition by far was the Nail-A-Trick mode, which allowed players to enter a slo-mo mode where they could use the thumbsticks to perform and tweak a custom flip trick. Proving Ground ups the ante with a Nail-A-Grab and Nail-A-Manual mode. While in slow motion, you can press the right shoulder button to enter the Nail-A-Manual or the left button to enter the Nail-A-Grab mode, tweaking each with the thumbsticks. These increase the amounts of custom tricks dramatically, as you can keep performing Nail moves and connecting them with custom Manuals as long as you can.

Aside from the new modes, the on-board mechanics feel a bit different from previous entries. The board physics are a bit more realistic, slowing you down if you go up a ramp too high. There’s even a sim mode that you can turn on factors that add more realistic skating, like slower speeds and less air, should you want to play the game that way.

Tony Hawk's Proving Ground Xbox 360 screenshots

The class system was also shown at the event. It allows for a very natural progression, letting you choose missions from people from around the map from the three different disciplines (Rigger, Hardcore, and Career). As you do the missions, you’ll unlock new moves and skill points associated with your path of choice, but if you’d prefer to be a badass and do everything, then you can.

The rigger class is probably the most different one of the three possible routes, allowing you to build your own objects and trick runs to perform on. You can set up your own ramps and rails and reach high-up grinds and gaps. The interface is also very easy to grasp, and creating your own runs is a snap.

Tony Hawk's Proving Ground Xbox 360 screenshots

Additionally, the new video editor was on display. While some of the features had been turned off in the preview, it still was very deep yet easy to use. After saving your 30-second skating block and opening the video editor, you can cut and splice, add filters and effects, even music like a pro.

With a ton of great features and a deep RPG-like upgrade system, Proving Ground is shaping up to be the most complete Tony Hawk game to date. Look for it this October.

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